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Updated : December 24th, 2020

State: Idaho (ID)
Phone Number:PLEASE NOTE - Tel-a-claim facility is no longer available. File your weekly claims online only. Dial Phone: (208) 332-8942 or Fax: (208) 639-3256 to obtain more information on the process of claiming unemployment benefits.Dial (208) 332-3570 (24 hours per day, 7 days a week) to file an Unemployment Compensation Claim. For local offices, the hours of operation is 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM Monday through Thursday, 9:00 AM to noon Friday and closed on holidays. In the Boise dialing area call 334-4700 and outside the Boise dialing area call your local office and enter Option 7.
Major Towns:Boise City, Nampa, Meridian, Idaho Falls, Pocatello, Caldwell, Coeur d'Alene, Twin Falls, and Lewiston
Current Unemploymnet Rate in Idaho

Idaho Unemployment Questions

How do I file a claim?
If you are unemployed and wish to file a claim you may:
  • Access the Internet at:
  • Report to your nearest local Idaho Department of Labor office.
  • Call your nearest local Idaho Department of Labor office. If you are filing a claim against Idaho, but live in another state, you may also file your claim online at or by calling (208) 332-3574.
What must I do to be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits?
  • 1. You must be totally or partially unemployed through no fault of your own.
  • 2. Be a US citizen or legally authorized to work in the US.
  • 3. Establish monetary entitlement to benefits by having sufficient earnings in the base period: You must have worked and been paid wages for employment in at least two of the quarters in your base period1; AND You must have been paid at least $1,872 in wages in one of those quarters; AND The total wages paid in your base period must equal one and a quarter times your highest quarter wages.
  • 4. You must be available for full-time work.
  • 5. You must be able to perform full-time work.
  • 6. You must be willing to actively seek full-time work.
When should I apply for benefits/file a claim?
File your claim during your first week of total or partial unemployment—to delay may cost you benefits.

What if I am not working, but being paid severance pay?
If you are receiving pay for a specific period of time and being paid on your regularly scheduled pay periods, you must divide your severance pay by the number of weeks covered and report that amount each week you certify.

What if I am not working, but continuing to be paid by my separating employer in compliance with WARN requirements?
Claimants are not required to report Warn Act payments on their weekly certification.

What information do I need to have with me when I file?
  • Your Social Security number.
  • Driver's License
  • If you are not a citizen of the United States, your Alien Registration number and card.
  • The business names, complete addresses including zip codes, and phone numbers of all employers for whom you worked during the last 2 years.
  • The dates your work started and ended for those employers.
  • Your total gross earnings from those employers.
  • The reason you are no longer working for those employers.
  • DD Form 214, Member 4, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, if you were a member of the Military Service in the past 2 years.
  • Your county of residence if you live outside the state of Idaho.
How is my weekly benefit amount determined?
The amount you receive for unemployment is based up your past earnings. We use the wages you earned in a period of time that we call your base period1. We use the highest quarterly amount from your base period and divide that amount by 26 to determine the maximum amount you may receive per week on unemployment. For example, if your highest base period quarter was $2600, we would divide that number by 26 and you would be eligible for a maximum of $100 per week. The current range for unemployment weekly benefits runs from $72.00 per week minimum to $334.00 per week maximum. We use the wages reported to us by employers that you have worked for in Idaho. We can use wages from other states, from work done as a federal employee, and if you were active duty in the military (with some restrictions). When you file for benefits, you will receive a form called a Monetary Determination. This form shows your base period, the employers who reported wages to us during the base period, and the amounts they reported. It will also show your weekly benefit amount, and the total amount you may draw during your benefit year. If you think that any of the information is wrong on your Monetary Determination, you must contact the Department of Labor within 14 days from the mailing date of the Monetary Determination. (Click here for a list of the Idaho Department of Labor locations in Idaho.) You should be prepared to show some kind of proof as to why the amounts shown are wrong, or proof that an employer you worked for does not show up on the Monetary Determination. We will investigate and possibly contact the employers you worked for to try and find out what the correct amounts are. You will receive a Monetary Re-Determination after we complete the investigation.

How many weeks can I collect unemployment insurance benefits?
The law has a formula for calculating how many weeks of unemployment insurance benefits that you may qualify for on your claim. The number of weeks of full entitlement you can receive will vary between 10 weeks at a minimum and 26 weeks at a maximum. The formula is a ratio of your total base period wages divided by your highest base period quarter. Basically, the person who earns a consistent wage in each quarter in the base period1 is awarded more weeks of unemployment. A person who has periods in the base period where they did not work as much, or earned much more than the other quarters will have their number of weeks reduced because of the ratio formula. In some instances, a person who earns substantially more in one quarter than in the three remaining quarters may not be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits. This situation is referred to as "high quarter." When you file a claim for unemployment, it is set up for a 52-week period. If you draw a full weekly benefit amount each week, you will run out of money in the number of weeks that you are entitled to. You can work and draw unemployment. (See question Can I work and still collect unemployment insurance benefits?) If you work part-time and are not able to find a full-time job, your unemployment benefits may last the entire 52 weeks. It just depends on what rate you draw those benefits out.

What is a base period?
The base period is the four quarters of earnings that are used to determine how much unemployment you qualify for. Idaho Department of Labor uses a regular base period of the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters. If you do not qualify using the regular base period, you may qualify using the alternate base period of the last four completed calendar quarters.

Overpayments and Fraud

Benefits are paid to you based on the eligibility information available at the time you phone in your Tel-A-Claim report, submit your Internet Continued Claim report or turn in your Continued Claim report. An overpayment may occur if the Department receives additional or contradictory information relating to your eligibility after benefits have been paid to you.

Engaging in any of the following acts is a felony crime in Idaho:
  1. Making false statements while being interviewed regarding your claim.
  2. Knowingly making a false statement on any of the forms or pages you fill out in relation to your claim such as misstating the reason for separation from your employer.
  3. Failing to properly report any material fact or making a false statement when filing weekly via Tel-AClaim, Internet Continued Claim or bi-weekly using the Continued Claim Report form;
  4. Failing to notify the Department when you quit or are discharged from work or when you refuse work.
  5. Failing to look for work when required to do so, but telling Idaho Department of Labor you did look.
Protests and Appeals
You or a current or previous employer may protest any decision regarding your eligibility to receive unemployment insurance benefits. Your protest must be in writing and be signed. When a protest is filed and a new decision is reached, a written document will be issued telling you the reasons for the new decision. There are four decision-making levels. Decisions made at the first three levels may be protested by you or by an interested party.

Miscellaneous Information
Re-Employment Eligibility Assessment: You may be required to provide the Department with you work search contacts or participate in an in person interview with a Workforce Consultant from your local office. You may receive a letter instructing you to input your weekly contacts for a specific week of benefits via the internet at Failure to provide this information when requested will result in your benefits being stopped. The contacts you list will be verified with the employers. You may also be required to participate in an in person interview with a Workforce Consultant at your local office. The interview is designed to help you return to work in the shortest time possible. The Consultant may assist you with labor market information, resumes, and innovative ideas for seeking work. Failure to participate will result in your benefits being stopped.

Questions & Answers

  1. I waited almost a month after I left my last job to file for unemployment. Will I receive a check for the 4 weeks that I was off work, but had not applied yet?

  2. I was terminated due to not performing at the skill level for a Registered Nurse, am I entitled to claim unemployment benefit ?

    1. Teresa,

      You might not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

  3. If I live in SC but worked in Idaho from October 11, 2018 through February 1, 2019, and then was laid off, would I be able to receive unemployment benefits?

    1. Gerard,

      If you have active employment and earnings in the last 4-5 calendar quarters, please consider applying from the state where your employment was based.

    1. Michael,

      I hope you’re able to now. If you still have issues, please clear the browser cache and if the issue persists, call the Unemployment Office.

  4. From January 1st 2016 until some time in the end of April 2016 I worked in North Dakota I started employment in Idaho august 20th 2016 through the end of the year. which state would I file for unemployment in?

  5. I was wondering how I would go about getting this denial of my claim addressed. RESEA – Failure to Attend Interview. I did not receive any offers of employment via email nor did I receive any offers of employment via telephone. In neither of those options did I receive a notice of an interview either. What should I do?


    1. With regard to earnings that are reported – it is always GROSS earnings – total amount earned during a specific time period (regardless of whether or not is is received). If you pay your taxes on this income yourself, you may be considered self employed. Self employed people do not pay into unemployment and therefore are not eligible for benefits. It is possible this could be viewed as a sideline business – meaning you could / will work a full time job for an employer. Let the local unemployment office know the specifics and they will let you know the impact.

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